UWE Bristol leads UK in professional recognition for Healthcare Science education

Issue date: 31 October 2011


UWE Bristol is the first University in the UK to gain professionally recognised accreditation from the Institute of Biomedical Sciences (IBMS), Medical Education England and the Health Professions Council for its new Healthcare Science degree.

All three organisations were impressed at the way UWE worked closely with employer partners and the Modernising Science Careers team to ensure that the degree will equip students with the skills needed by health services. The new Healthcare Science degree responds to a need within the NHS for an integrated training route for biomedical scientists.

Dr Craig Donaldson, Associate Head of Department for Human, Biomedical and Sports Sciences, said, “We are delighted that our hard work in close partnership with our practitioner colleagues has led to accreditation for the courses by the professional and registration bodies. This puts UWE at the forefront of healthcare science education and will improve employment prospects for our graduates.”

First year students who have just enrolled this year are all delighted that the courses have gained professional accreditation as this will significantly improve their employment prospects.

Student Chelsey Walsh comments, “I chose the course here as it was so focused on the specific career path that I wanted to follow in the future, particularly with the integrated placements in NHS hospital laboratories, which is something I am really looking forward to. It will not only provide us with a fantastic insight into the career, but also offer us invaluable knowledge and experience. The course structure and set up is also brilliant and offers lots of support to help the adjustment into higher education. I'm so glad I made the choice to study Healthcare Science at Bristol UWE.”

Catie King-Smith enthuses, “I am really excited to be one of the first students to study the new Healthcare Science course. The staff have been incredible at helping us settle in and are really accommodating to any questions we have. I'm really glad I chose UWE Bristol and I can't wait for the next three years.”

Owain Morgan concurs, “Never have I felt the support behind me as I do at UWE Bristol, the mix of the placements across the three years is very appealing and will be a key asset for my aim to work within NHS labs.”

Dr Craig Donaldson said that the IBMS and HPC panels were very impressed with the students they met and asked how we managed to recruit such excellent students. They highlighted in particular the students who had just enrolled on the Healthcare Science programme and who had therefore only been with UWE for three days and who jumped at the chance to meet with the accreditation teams.

Alan Wainwright, Executive Head of Education, IBMS said “The HCS degree built on good practices and professional standards established with the IBMS accredited biomedical science degree. This experience should not be underestimated and was exemplified by UWE Bristol's partnership with employers, this being a crucial factor in achieving accreditation and graduates fit for registration with the Health Professions Council.”

Professor Maggie Pearson, Academic and Training Programme Director Modernising Scientific Careers wrote, “Colleagues at UWE and in the NHS were very willing to find ways of meeting our requirements. We do appreciate that this involves major changes to current ways of working.”

Christina Doncom, Education Contracts and Quality Manager, South West Strategic Health Authority said, “The Strategic Health Authority is delighted that the Life Sciences Practitioner Training Programme has been fully accredited. The University has worked tirelessly with all stakeholders to develop the programme which will provide a sustainable, flexible workforce into the future to meet the changing requirements of healthcare service delivery.”

-ENDS-

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